I went to the Zumbro River Restoration Project update meeting tonight – it was very informative. Just to bring you up to speed, in 2010 a flood came through town, wrecked the dam, emptied the lake and pretty much left havoc behind along the river here in Oronoco.
So tonight was a status update of the restoration project. It’s going to be really nice when done and an economic draw into the area. A walking trail through roughly 80 acres of wetlands, with another 80 or so on the other side of Hwy 52. There is funding for most of the first three phases that will take out the dam, clean up the area around it and turn it into a kayak-friendly part of the rivers that combine here. Upstream will be reshaped to continue the attractiveness of the two branches of the river as a water-attraction, and phases 4 and 5 would complete this area as a trail that can be used to draw additional recreational use into the area. With the dam out, the walleye and other trout and bass can continue making their way upstream. And as part of this work, they are going to pull the downed trees and the trash trees out of the community gardens acreage, (the gardens are a small part of that almost 10 acre property, though) giving us a cleaned up green space along the river on the east side of the dam, too.
I’m disappointed it is not going to be able to start until 2015, but seeing the figures tonight can understand what they have to do. It will give us time to fund phases 4 and 5 too, and I’m well aware we cannot do that with bake sales!